WASHINGTON — Another 130 U.S. troops arrived in Iraq on Tuesday on what the Pentagon described as a temporary mission to assess the scope of the humanitarian crisis facing thousands of displaced Iraqi civilians trapped on Sinjar Mountain by fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced the deployment in remarks to Marines at Camp Pendleton, Calif. "This is not a combat boots on the ground kind of operation," Hagel said.
The troops arrived Tuesday in the city of Irbil, well east of Sinjar Mountain. They are to work with representatives of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to coordinate plans with global partners and nongovernmental organizations to help the trapped Yazidi civilians on the mountain.
The 130 troops are in addition to 90 U.S. military advisers in Baghdad and 160 in a pair of operations centers — one in Irbil and one in Baghdad — working with Iraqi security forces.